Patient & Visitor Information

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Visitor Information

Enquiries

Telephone enquiries from relatives and friends regarding a patient’s condition should be made on (03) 5671 3333 between the hours of 9.00am and 8.00pm.  In the interest of confidentiality, limited information can be given by staff, and generally you will be advised to speak with the patient directly.

Visiting Times

In order to provide the best care for all patients we ask that you visit between 2.00pm and 8.00pm. For the privacy and well-being of patients, visitors are asked to inform staff at the nurses’ station before entering a patient’s room. If you are unable to visit during these times please discuss with the nursing staff and a suitable time may be negotiated.

Visitor Services

Vending machines are located in the main foyer of the hospital, where tea, coffee, cold drinks and snacks can be purchased. A visitor lounge is located in the acute ward area. In consideration of other patients if you have more than two visitors please utilise the lounge facility rather than the patient bedside, whenever possible.

A separate ‘quiet room’ is also available for private family discussions with clinicians where necessary.

A public telephone and bathroom facilities are located in the main foyer of the hospital.  If people are using mobile phones in the lounge or public areas of the hospital please have the tone set to silent, and minimise volume of conversations in the interest of unwell patients.

Public toilets (with a baby change table available in the female toilet) are located in the main foyer of the hospital.

Car Parking

Car parking is available on the hospital grounds and is free of charge.  Disabled parking spaces are located close to entrances.

Public Transport

Click here for the Bass Coast Transport Timetables

 

Admission to Hospital

What to bring to Hospital

  • Medicare Card

  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme entitlement card (if relevant)

  • Concession, Healthcare, Safety Net card

  • DVA / Pension Card

  • Private Health Insurance details (if applicable)

  • Any documentation that the doctor has given you for example:

    • Medication Chart

    • Operation Consent form (if not already given at booking in)

    • Anaesthetic Information

    • X-rays

    • Letter / instruction

Staying Overnight

If your stay is for one or more nights, you should bring the following items:

  • Night clothing: clothing should be comfortable for moving around. Ensure your clothing is not too long because it could cause you to fall.

  • Footwear: supportive, well-fitting slippers or shoes that fasten with laces or Velcro straps. Bed socks or loose fitting shoes should be avoided as they may cause a fall.

  • Toiletries

  • Medications: please bring a list of all the medications you take and any recent changes that have been made. This includes all medicines prescribed by your doctor or those purchased by a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

  • Glasses: both reading and distance (if required)

  • Hearing aids: with a spare set of batteries (if required)

  • Walking aids: walking stick or frame (if required)

  • Small change for phone calls made from public telephone in hospital foyer.  Phone cards can be purchased at the Administration office in the foyer for bedside telephones.

  • Please do not bring large amounts of money or jewellery

Note:  Private electrical appliances will be subject to a safety check (by the Hospital) prior to use in the Hospital.

Valuables

Please avoid bringing valuables (including watches, jewellery, etc.) or large amounts of cash into the hospital, as the Health Service does not accept responsibility for such items.

If you have brought valuables in with you, it is advisable to sign them over to the staff to be maintained in the safe.  You will be given a receipt for the valuables, to be used at the time of collection.

Collection of valuables can only be undertaken during office hours.  If amounts of money over $50 have been signed over to the Health Service, at least one business days’ notice is required to retrieve these, as cash is not kept on the premises.  This arrangement is to be made via the Administration office at the Hospital (03) 5671 3333.

Patient Classification

Bass Coast Health is a public hospital, and on admission you will be required to make a decision regarding your patient classification status. You will be classified as one of the following care types:

  • Public patient (Medicare)

  • Private patient (Health Insurance details required)

  • Compensable patient (WorkCover or TAC – claim number required)

  • Veterans’ Affairs patient (Card required for entitlement number & colour)

  • Overseas patient from countries without reciprocal healthcare. Patients not covered by Medicare will be charged fees to achieve full cost recovery.

Private Patients

Patients with private health insurance have the choice to be treated as either a public or private patient – unless you have agreed with your surgeon to have your procedure as a private patient. By using your private health insurance at Wonthaggi Hospital, you are assisting the Health Service to maintain provision of the best care and facilities for the community we serve.

Bass Coast Health offers a comprehensive list of specialist surgeons as well as visiting medical staff from the Wonthaggi Medical Group. The Private Patient Liaison Officer at Bass Coast Health will manage all hospital accounts and paperwork to ensure no out-of-pocket expenses are incurred by the private patient. 

Public patients cannot choose their own doctor, will receive follow up treatment in our Outpatients' Clinics, and do not receive any bills relating to their care in hospital.

If you elect to be a private patient please ensure that your health fund membership is up to date, covers your admitted procedure (if surgical) and that you have your membership card/book or details with you.  It is your responsibility to be aware of your level of cover and to ensure that your membership is current.

Compensable patients

If your admission is the result of a traffic or work related accident you will be admitted as a compensable patient (different fees apply). Please notify staff if this applies to you. You must still elect to be public or private in the event of your claim being rejected. No accounts will be sent to you if you tell us who is responsible for your medical expenses.

Veteran's Affairs

Please notify staff if you personally are the holder of a Department of Veteran's Affairs (DVA) Gold or White Card. All of your claimable accounts will then be sent to DVA.

Haemodialysis Holiday Program

Bass Coast Health offers a haemodialysis holiday program for visitors to the area, subject to availability. Please call (03) 5671 3309 during business hours for more details.

Maternity

Maternity patients will need to book in at the hospital as early as possible prior to the expected birth date.  Women need to have chosen their doctor from the Wonthaggi Medical Group and consulted with that doctor.  Women should telephone the Midwifery Department at the hospital to book an appointment with a midwife who will discuss individual pregnancy care plans.


While in Hospital

Medications

Current Medications

To help the Doctor and Pharmacist check that the right medications are given to you while in hospital, please bring all your medications from home with you.  Sometimes, the medications given to you in hospital may look different to the ones used at home as the hospital may keep a different brand of medication.  Your own medication, such as inhalers and eye drops may also be used if the hospital does not have these available, so please ensure you bring them with you.

While in hospital, a Pharmacist may visit you to review your medications.  It is important you tell the Pharmacist all the medications you take (including non-prescription and herbal medications) and any allergies or sensitivities you have to medications.

The Pharmacist will help the Doctor to give you the best medication treatment available and can explain any changes to your medications that may have been made by the Doctor.  The Pharmacist can also answer any questions you may have about your medications.  If you would like any additional information about your medications such as a Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) sheet, please ask one of the nurses, so that one can be supplied.

 

Discharge Medications

A medication summary may be prepared for you and this needs to be taken to your local doctor and any other follow up appointments that occur.  Before leaving hospital you may be given prescriptions for up to one month’s supply of medication.  The prescription can be dispensed in either the hospital pharmacy (during office hours) or at your local community pharmacy.

Family spokesperson

When you are ill, family and friends naturally want regular updates on your progress. However, frequent enquiries to the ward can make it difficult for staff to spend time caring for patients. To avoid this, please nominate one person to be the main contact who can keep everyone updated on your progress.

Alcohol

Patients and visitors are not permitted to have or consume liquor on the hospital grounds.

Aggressive Behaviour

Bass Coast Health has a zero tolerance policy and aggressive and violent behaviour towards staff or other patients will not be tolerated.  Should this occur the police will be called and legal action may be initiated.

Consent

By coming to hospital you have implied consent to treatment.  Certain procedures such as operations, the administration of anaesthetics and some tests may require your specific consent in writing.  You will be advised of this.  It is important that you understand and are fully informed of what is involved before you give consent.  We encourage you to participate fully in decisions made about your treatment and ask any questions that you may have.

Electronic Appliances

Due to the potential fire risk, you must ask ward staff before you bring in personal electrical equipment such as hair driers, portable radios or CD players/IPod stations.

Laundry

Please note that the hospital does not provide a personal laundry service.

Mail

Mail is delivered each weekday (excluding public holidays). All correspondence should be addressed with your given name, surname, room or ward number and name on the envelope. Incoming mail is delivered to your bedside daily.  Ward staff will assist you with outgoing mail if necessary.

Meals

The Food Service Department strives to provide you with meals that are healthy, nutritious and as appetising as possible and appropriate for medical conditions you may have. Every day you will be given a menu card to order ahead for three meals. The hospital can cater for a wide range of dietary or religious needs.  If you have a special dietary requirement or have any food allergies or intolerances, please let the nursing staff know when you book in or are admitted to hospital. A dietitian is also made available to patients and is happy to advise and assist on any aspect of your diet.  Please ask your Health Professional for a referral. 

Smoke Free Policy

Bass Coast Health is a smoke free organisation, in line with its role of health promotion and illness prevention. Smoking is not allowed on any of the Bass Coast Health sites for patients, visitors or staff.

A range of supports are available to inpatients, including nicotine chewing gum and patches.  There is also QUIT literature available for your reference in the main foyer of the hospital or at www.quit.org.au.

Telephone

For your convenience a public telephone is located in the main foyer of the hospital.

Patients in the acute wards may purchase a phone card from the Administration Office between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday and from Ward Clerks at other times.  This will allow calls to be made from the bedside telephones.

We ask that you do not use mobile phones within the patient rooms of the hospital as these can interfere with the delicate monitoring equipment.

Television & Radios

Some wards provide TV facilities.  TV controls are located in the Nurse Call Handset.  Radios must be equipped with an earpiece at all times to minimise discomfort to other patients.

Witness to Legal Documents

Bass Coast Health does not permit staff to witness legal documents for patients or visitors.  The organisation prefers that you arrange this through your Solicitor.

Volunteer Activities

For patients who do not have family or other external social supports, Volunteer visitors usually attend the ward Monday to Saturday.  If required they may be available to purchase small items (such as toiletries) from the local shopping centre for patients.


Leaving Hospital

You can expect to be involved in the preparation and planning for going home.  An expected date of discharge may have been given to you on admission.  You should be aware that this date may be bought forward or delayed, depending on your medical condition.  We believe when your health permits you should be able to go home. On the day of discharge, in order to prepare the room promptly for subsequent admissions, please arrange to leave the hospital by 10.30am.

Discharge

Management of your treatment may continue after you leave hospital and return home.  Before you are discharged the hospital will make sure that you and your relatives, carers or friends involved in your care know how to look after you at home. Please do not hesitate to ask for treatment programs to be written out for you if you have any doubts.  Your doctor or nurse will answer any questions you may have and will arrange necessary support services such as District Nursing, Personal Care, Rehabilitation, Meals on Wheels, or Home Help.

Please check that any follow up appointments have been made and that your medication requirements have been arranged prior to discharge.

Discharge normally occurs between 9.00am and 11.00am.  If you are having a day procedure you will be discharged on the same day.  You must make arrangements for someone to drive you home, as legally you are not able to drive a motorised vehicle for a minimum of 24 hours post-anaesthetic.  It is recommended that you have someone stay with you overnight for this post-anaesthetic period.

Discharge at Own Risk

With few exceptions (for example in case of infectious diseases) you have the right to leave hospital when you choose.  This may be a serious step when taken against the advice of your doctor and could pose a significant threat to your well-being.

If you choose to be discharged under these circumstances you will be asked to sign a disclaimer form and the responsibility for this action will rest with you.

Transfer to another Facility

Sometimes it is necessary to transfer patients to another hospital, nursing home or healthcare facility.  This is only done in consultation with you and your carer/family or in emergency situations.  Transfer may be by air or road ambulance, or hospital/volunteer transport service, depending on reason for transport.

Continuing Care

After discharge you may need assistance from community based care services. With your consent, our staff will ensure appropriate referrals are made for you and services arranged.

Community Services

Bass Coast Health’s Community Services team provide services and programs that can be tailored to your needs. This includes assistance with goal setting and creating a care plan you are comfortable with.

Any person of any age can access community services.  You may be referred while staying in hospital, be self-referred or be referred by a doctor, Health Worker or other services.

Individual service information can be found under Services tab or click here.

Fees to Community Services

A fee for service is applicable for most services. Fees are determined according to income and a person’s ability to pay with some services free of charge.

The services provided are affordable and accessible through the generosity of our funding bodies, the community and donators.  Difficulty or inability to pay will not be a barrier to receiving treatment or service.